MANILA, Philippines – Australia is the only other country aside from the US that has a visiting forces agreement (VFA) with the Philippines, allowing its troops to stay in the country.
On the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held in the Philippines last week, visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull watched the two militaries simulate urban warfare, an area where they committed to continue training.
"We are in the same fight [against terrorism]. Now more than ever the Australian Defense Force (ADF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are working together, supporting each other, learning from each other, and fighting the fight, we cannot afford to lose," he said.
Fighting terrorim was among the main concerns during the summits held in Manila. (READ: A region in panic: ASEAN doubles down against ISIS threat)
The two militaries simulated fighting off ISIS fighters in an urban terrain
About 20 Filipino and Australian troops participated in the war game
The troops also simulated evacuating wounded soldiers
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took the opportunity to talk to the Australian troops deployed in the Philippines